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Tables

Catching the Limit: Tables

December 17, 1997

Table 1. Mercury contaminates commercially caught fish and many other foods.

Food Percent Contaminated Highest Mercury Contamination Level (ug/g) (ppm) Average Mercury Contamination Level (ug/g) (ppm)
Tuna, canned in oil 100 0.322 0.171
Haddock, pan-cooked 94 0.156 0.065
Tuna Noodle Casserole 88 0.063 0.02
Shrimp, boiled 94 0.053 0.024
Fish Sticks, Frozen, 75 0.03 0.009
Liver, Beef, Fried 31 0.03 0.003
Fish Sandwich, Fst Fd 44 0.021 0.004
Spinach, Fresh/Frozen 31 0.018 0.002
Oatmeal, Quick 13 0.012 0.001
Eggs, fried 6 0.01 0.001
Eggs, boiled 6 0.01 0.001
Mushrooms, raw 38 0.009 0.002
Avocado, raw 38 0.009 0.001
Eggs, scrambled 13 0.009 0.001
Crisped Rice Cereal 31 0.008 0.001

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from FDA Total Diet Study, 1991-1996.

Table 2. All waters of a given type are unsafe for fish consumption in many states due to mercury contamination.

State Extent of advisory Types of Fish Under Advisory
Connecticut All freshwater bodies not under other advisory All fish
Florida All marine waters Shark
Indiana All Indiana rivers and streams Carp 15-25 inches
Massachusetts All state freshwater bodies
All marine waters
All fish
Lobster
Maine All inland lakes and ponds All fish
Michigan All inland lakes Various sport fish
New Hampshire All inland inland lakes All Freshwater fish
New Jersey All freshwater bodies Chain pickerel, Largemouth bass
Vermont All waters statewide All species except bullhead and pumpkinseed

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from EPA's Fish Consumption Advisory Database. Data from 1996.

Table 3. Many U.S. waters are not fishable due to mercury contamination.

State Number of Fish
Consumption
Advisories
due to Mercury
Minnesota* 693
Wisconsin 389
Indiana 116
Florida 94
Massachusetts 52
Michigan 41
North Dakota 35
New Jersey 30
New Mexico 26
South Carolina 24
Georgia 23
Montana 22
Arkansas 19
Ohio 19

*The high number of fish consumption advisories in Minnesota may be partially due to the thousands of different lakes in that state.

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from EPA's Fish Consumption Advisory Database. Data from 1996.